Senator Collins on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Illinois families who lose children to gun violence will have an opportunity to receive funding for respectable funeral and burial services thanks to a measure sponsored by State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago).

“The growing problem of gun violence in our communities means there is a growing number of families devastated by its negative impacts,” Collins said. “To support them through unimaginable strain, the Funeral and Burial Assistance Act will help them meet their needs without financial ruin.”

Firearm violence is a leading cause of death for children and teenagers in Illinois with disproportionate deaths among the Black population and an increasing number of deaths among children under 17. House Bill 2985 seeks to address these issues by providing qualifying families with up to $10,000 in aid to pay for funeral and burial services.

HB 2985 is an initiative of the Strength to Love Foundation, which has been actively participating in Chicago communities affected by gun violence through intervention services and youth development programs. Illinois currently offers funeral and burial assistance, but these processes are often lengthy, causing low-income families to go into overwhelming debt while waiting for reimbursement.

“Gun violence is a public health crisis that must be addressed,” Collins said. “While we work to reduce and prevent the violence running rampant in our state, I intend to support the families navigating the tremendous pain of losing their little ones.”

Collins’ measure passed the Senate and moves to the House for concurrence before going to the governor’s desk for final approval.

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